28 June 2010

Days Upon Days

I stayed at my mom's house last night, so that she could watch Gabriel for me today.

We're in between preschools at the moment.

She got up to have a cup of tea with me before I left.
She has boxes of papers from my grandpa's house that she's been sorting and organizing for months.  Most of is stuff that my grandmother had saved, that no one's looked at in the 15 years since she passed away.
A Christmas card from her sister-in-law, sent from Paris in 1985.
Five years worth of Corralitos newsletters, full of the kids I grew up with, their 4-H stories, memories of the '89 Earthquake.
Step-by-step instructions on achieving goals, tapped out on a typewriter and filed away.
A year ago my grandfather was still fine.  A year ago, he wasn't dying.  We are one month away from the one year marker of his death, and a year ago none of us knew.
It wasn't that he didn't have any health problems.
Because he did.
But we all expected him to slide slowly off a hill, and instead he leapt off of a cliff.

That's what anyone would want;  to live your entire long life fine and capable and with a whole mind.
To go quickly at the end.
That's what I would want for anyone.
But as the family left behind, it's so strange.
It's so strange that someone so whole and present can be gone so quickly from your life.